Protein is an important part of your pet’s diet now matter what type of diet you have them on. Whether you feed them an omnivorous or vegan diet, nothing is going energize your pets and sustain them through these long hot summer days quite like adequate protein. Protein helps pets build and maintain muscle tissue and supports all sorts of important functions in their bodies. To keep your pets strong and healthy you want to be sure you are meeting their dietary needs. Protein deficient diets can lead to a variety of health problems.
What is protein anyway?
Proteins consist of long chains of amino acids that can be found in both meat and plant sources. It works to ensure proper growth, development, body tissue repair, and a healthy immune system. While there are 10 amino acids that cats and dogs must get from their food, a cat’s diet must also include taurine as their body is unable to naturally produce it. To help you decide what protein source is best for your pet, here’s a quick guide from Petcurean.
- Peas: A good source of beta-carotene, niacin, Vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus, and copper. It’s also packed with dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, thiamin and manganese.
- Organic flaxseed and sunflower oil: Both contain omega-6 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and a radiant coat. Flaxseed also boasts omega-3 fatty acids which are important for normal metabolism and optimal health.
- Lentils and Chickpeas: Both are low glycemic carbohydrates that also provide a good source of protein, iron, phosphorus and copper.
- Chicken Meal: A concentrated source of protein containing meat, bones, and cartilage that is dried and preserved naturally. It should never include feathers, heads, feet, or entrails.
- Chicken Fat: Although human diets try to avoid fats, animal fat is good for your pet. Chicken fat is a great source of omega-6 which is considered the most important essential fatty acid for dogs and cats.
- Eggshell Meal: A natural source of calcium to promote bone strength. Eggshell membrane is an added plus!
Pro-Tip: As obligate carnivores, cats must get their protein from animal tissue. For a protein-packed meal and a meaty flavor they’ll love, try out Now Fresh Grain Free.
- Cod: A good source of high quality protein, phosphorous, niacin, and Vitamin B-12.
- Dehydrated Cod: A concentrated source of protein that uses the entire raw material. The benefit of dehydrated product is the removal of water, but not the fat.
- Krill: As the “superfood of the sea,” krill is growing in popularity as a protein source. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin, krill is also virtually free of pollutants and heavy metals.
Pro-Tip: Want to try a fish-based kibble? GATHER Wild Ocean features line-caught Alaskan cod and sustainably harvested krill to create a delicious and healthy meal for your dog.
- Deboned Venison, Pork, and Lamb: All are great sources of protein that come from the animal’s clean and de-boned flesh.
- Novelty Proteins: This classification consists of proteins your pet may not have eaten before such as venison, salmon, or duck. Novelty proteins can sometimes help alleviate the symptoms of dietary sensitivities.
Pro-Tip: If your cat or dog has more challenging sensitivities, Petcurean’s GO!offers a wide variety of options that were specifically created for picky eaters, those who need a grain free or higher protein diet, and for those requiring a recipe with unique proteins or a limited number of ingredients.
As you can see, there are different varieties of sources for your pet’s daily dose of protein. If you would like help in navigating your pet’s diet, Petcurean offers a useful Petfood finder that will tailor the perfect diet to your fluffy companion, no matter their needs and help you keep them happy and healthy even when it’s hot and steamy outside!